House hunting

Houses are like people – some you like and some you don’t like – and once in a while there is one you love.”
L.M. Montgomery

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(male bluebird / Julie Cook / 2015)

With the recent advent of a few mild days followed by a few mild nights, offering a most welcomed, albeit brief, respite from the cold, dreary and wet. . . tired frigid thoughts are wistfully turning to the anticipation of longer warmer days ahead. . .and as it is with each new Spring, it happily appears a few of the locals have begun house hunting in earnest.

The bluebirds are getting an early start this year checking out the new houses on the market. It is the male who does the house hunting. Scoping out only the best for his intended. With her approval the couple will set up permanent residence in order to raise up to two different broods throughout Spring and Summer.

Surely Spring can’t be too far away if these harbingers of longer warmer days are already fast at work.

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I think I’m the one on the right

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don’t agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ”
― C.S. Lewis

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(lovely relief masks found under an ancient bridge crossing over the Seine in Paris as seen from a bateau / Paris, France / 2011)

Ok so you would most likely assume that if a person had a life sized one of these standing about in one’s home, there would be a certain sense of well being, an understood knowledge that all was indeed quiet on the western as well as the eastern, the northern and the southern fronts and that everything would be under control right?

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And yet there is a prevailing sense that something big is coming.
Like it or not, it is indeed coming.
As in 26 days, less than a month, as in you’ve been hearing about, plotting and planning about this now for nearly 3 years. . .and yet, the foreboding sense of something huge and monumental coming, as in like it or not–it’s coming, is proving palpable.

Maybe it is assumed that everyone is hunkered down, ready and waiting.
All eyes are focused, ever so keenly scanning the horizon for the slightest bit of movement, fingers steady and poised on all sorts of triggers.
Preparedness is key!
Organization is paramount!
A stiff upper lip a necessity. . .

Andy yet. . .

You may recall that,one day last week, I had asked for prayers for my son who is suffering from complications from kidney stones. We thought he were going to have surgery this Tuesday–as in tomorrow– but it seems the doctors are opting for more tests Tuesday–as in tomorrow. There have been ultrasounds, blood work, a CT scan and now some sort of scope thingy is scheduled—for Tuesday–as in tomorrow.

For some reason, the fact that I keep reminding all living and breathing personnel residing in this particular doctor’s office that we have a wedding on June 7th—does not seem to deliver the same overwhelming sense of panic that it does for anyone but me and perhaps the bride to be, and maybe my son.

So, as of now, we’re on for a scope only Tuesday, as in tomorrow. The supposed surgery which was mentioned, the one that I think I heard as having something of a 2 week recovery time of such, as in there is this little thing such as a wedding taking place in less than a month, a wedding that has been in the making now for 3 years, as in it’s happening in historic Savannah, as in the famous park, as in this had to be set in stone over a year ago, as in come hell or high water we WILL all be present and accounted for, as in one would think a bride and groom would want to feel 100% on their wedding day, as in is this not becoming a bit of a hinderance to one’s health, as in maybe should I have gone into medicine since I seem to be the only one to have a better sense of time and priorities—or is that just a mother thing???

At any rate, I will hold onto my panic a bit longer, sharing it with this medical office as often as possible and will continue asking for prayers as I believe that prayer does indeed availeth much. . .
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:16

And since we’re now talking about confessing. . .
Remember my voila moment from the other day?
The construction of my wonderful purple martin house?
The one I worked so hard putting together so that the birds wouldn’t think of me as a slum lord?
Remember the picture of the bluebird sitting on top of the collapsing old house I was wanting to replace?

Well . . .

It’s a bit of a long story.
One I really don’t think I’m emotionally sound yet to fully discuss but let’s just say that
A. My husband who thought he would be sweet and go out yesterday morning to remove the old one and replace it with the new one discovered that I may not have assemble it exactly correctly. . .

I know this comes as a great shock, but surprisingly, it seems that maybe I did not line up a couple of arrows correctly. Of which meant the pole wouldn’t fit up inside the house.

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Once the blasted thing is assembled, you can’t undo what you did—being plastic and having called for plastic bolts–there’s no unbolting plastic pushed in, as in not going anywhere, bolts. He had to rig some sort of brace. . .

B. Then there was the issue of the bluebird.

Bluebird you ask?
Remember the one sitting on top of the old house in the picture from the other day?
May I just say that my husband now feels really really badly, and I am really really sad.
There was a bit of a tragedy yesterday while he was taking down the old house—of which I’m still too traumatized to speak of—
Just remember the story of how I told you that there are the occasional usurpers who attempt taking ownership of the martin house—

You would think that with 5 bluebird boxes in the yard, a bluebird would never consider usurping a martin house. . .a martin house on a 25 foot wobbly pole perched precariously in the middle of a field?!

I don’t want to talk about it. It was an accident. In his excitement of bringing down the old and putting up the bootleg new, he never saw that they fell out. . .
I’m really sad—as is Mrs Bluebird. And it was mother’s day of all day’s—lets just say there were tears, a little screaming, a lot of feeling really badly, and the proverbial best laid plans—once again, run amuck. . .

So with all of this drama whirling about in and out of my world—may we all take pause this morning, breathing in deeply these immortal words . . .

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Do the birds think me a slum lord?

“Almost every country tavern has a martin box on the upper part of its sign-board; and I have observed that the handsomer the box, the better does the inn generally prove to be.”
John James Audubon (1831)

The Purple Martin is the largest swallow in North America, and in the eastern United States it is almost completely dependent on human-made birdhouses for nest sites.
taken form Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife

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(no, that is not a martin but rather a disgruntled bluebird / Julie Cook / 2014)

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I’ll be the first to admit, the martin house out back, the one on that telescopic pole, has seen better days. Even the Bluebird seems a bit perturbed. The house has been up now for almost 15 years. It has weathered snow, ice, tornados, hail, lightening. . .you name it, if Mother Nature dished it out, the house has withstood it–from torrent and drought, year after year. It has even seen its fare share of usurpers—the occasional squatter who has decided to stake a claim of residence—much to the martin’s chagrin.

I decided it was high time I find a replacement.
I went online and found what looked to be our exact house.
I could order a $44 kit. I wouldn’t need to order a new pole as I’m hoping the old one will still make do.
Imagine my joy as the mailman delivered a rather large box this afternoon.
I unpacked the box, pulling out my kit.

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Oooo made in the USA–even better.
The instructions claim a quick and painless assembly—however the instruction sheet is as large as a newspaper section which opens up to a full page spread times 4. What’s so hard about snapping together a plastic bird house?
Hummmmmm

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I began snapping, popping and poking pieces first a part, then together.
OK, I think I’ve now got the hang of this!
Piece of cake.

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Percy does not exactly help the cause by chewing on the perches.
Not to mention that I have to quickly gather up the small punched out parts as he reminds me more of a puppy wanting to chew on everything.

After about 30 minutes—voila
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Now as soon as it quits raining, I’ll remove the old house, replacing it with this sleek new abode. This will be the envy of every Martin family within miles!
Martins are the best bug catchers available besides bats. And whereas I don’t have up any bat boxes, the martin house will have to do.
I’ll keep you posted. . .